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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Great weather and decent trout catches greet opening day anglers all across Washington

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It was a picture perfect opening day for trout anglers all across the state, and the fishing proved to be just as good form the early reports I gathered.

Don Whalen of Issaquah spent Saturday morning at Pine Lake on the Issaquah Plateau fishing with granddaughter Savannah Whalen and her friend Jesse Donaldson.

All three managed to get their five-trout daily limit in about one hour trolling a wedding ring lure.

It didn’t take long for Tony Macchiarella of Redmond to figure out where the good fishing was at the 88-acre lake on the Issaquah Plateau.

“I had my five fish by 6:50 a.m., and it took me 10 minutes to get my first one, and then I had two more fish in the next 10 minutes after,” Macchiarella said who fished Pine about three times last season.

Adam Lindquist, a state Fish and Wildlife checker at Pine says he noticed the crowds were lighter during the morning hours he surveyed anglers, but they were catching plenty of fish.

Five-trout daily limits were the norm, Lindquist pointed out as he looked at his catch data clipboard around 9 a.m. yesterday morning.

State Fish and Wildlife biologist Justin Spinelli, and inland fish managers Chris Donley and Jim Scott checked Howard, Ki, Martha (at Alderwood Manor) and Wilderness, and reported all were good fishing and had a decent turnout.

“We saw a lot of kids carrying limits of trout at Wilderness, and it was terrific weather and everyone was smiling,” Spinelli said. “The largest fish we measured was about 16 or 17 inches, and it was definitely a holdover trout from last year.”

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The largest fish in the Hooked On Fishing Trout Derby at Lake Wilderness measured about 16 or 17 inches, Spinelli reported on the event hosted by the Greater Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce.

Aaron Bosworth, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist checked at Lake Geneva, and reported fishing was good for most and not so much for a few others.

“It was good fishing, and most had their limits, but some weren’t able to catch a fish which was kind of disappointing,” Bosworth said.

Bosworth arrived at 8 a.m. and counted about 15 boats and 15 bank anglers, and by noon the shore crowd grew to 42 and the number of boats decreased to 11.

“Guys on shore were using Power Bait and Power Eggs with a slip sinker to get their bait higher up to the surface,” Bosworth said. “A couple of guys using flies each caught 30 trout. It felt like the crowd was lighter than I expected it to be.”

“Most people that fished Geneva regularly noticed the better size of the fish, and I measured 50 fish that people took home which the average size was between 11 and 11 ¼ inches,” Bosworth said. “The smallest I saw was 10 inches, and the largest was about 12 inches.”

In Eastern Washington, Chad Jackson, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist surveyed Warden Lake in Grant County, and reported good action under excellent warm weather conditions.

“Fishing was really good, and way better than the past couple of years,” Jackson said. “I keep seeing a trend that not everybody is rushed to get out first thing in the morning.”

“There is a general attitude change compared to 30 years ago when every angler was a harvester, and there was a big rush to get out early and get their fish,” Jackson said. “Now most people enjoy their time fishing, and not necessarily just the catching aspect part of it.”

Jackson mentioned the boaters were hammering the fish at Warden, and the bank anglers were also catching a good amount of fish.

“The weather was about as good as you can have over here, and catch rates were fantastic,” Jackson said. “Fish size across the board was good, and all the yearlings were 11 to 13 inches.”

Jackson says most anglers were happy, and effort across the board was a “pinch higher than last year.”

Here are some highlights reported by Doug Hatfield and Chad Jackson, state Fish and Wildlife biologists on opening day catches:

At Lake Langlois two anglers caught and released 65 trout, the largest trout was 15 ¾ inches along with 10 fish over 15 inches.

At Riley Lake there was a couple trout that measured over 15 inches.

At Lake Serene two anglers caught five trout over 15 inches.

At Heart Lake there was one trout that measured 19 inches.

At Padden Lake shore anglers did just as well as boat anglers.

At Lake Geneva two anglers throwing flies each caught and released 30 trout apiece.

In Grant County the carryover trout averaged up to 18 inches, one fish measured out at 23 inches. Park and Blue lakes had the nicest yearling trout.

FISH CHECKS:

King County: Langlois, 51 anglers with 191 trout kept and 132 released for 6.3 fish per angler average and 3.7 kept per angler; Steel, 23 with 95 and 13 for 4.7 and 4.1; North, 12 with 42 and 0 for 3.5; and Walker, 33 with 138 and 40 for 5.4 and 4.2

Snohomish County: Bosworth, 31 with 100 and 21 for 3.9 and 3.2; Riley, 72 with 196 and 119 for 4.4 and 2.7; Serene, 18 with 46 and 65 for 6.2 and 2.6; and Crabapple, 16 with 34 and 34 for 4.3 and 2.1.

Skagit County: Heart, 112 with 330 and 133 for 4.1 and 2.9.

Whatcom County: Padden, 58 with 225 and 53 for 4.8 and 3.9; and Silver, 132 with 401 and 240 for 4.9 and 3.0.

Grant County: Warden 4.1 and 5.0; Deep, 3.1 and 5.5; Park, 2.9 and 3.3; Blue, 1.9 and 1.9; and Vic Meyers, 1.2 and 1.3.

(Photos taken by Mark Yuasa, Seattle Times staff reporter)

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